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Identification of anomalous coronary arteries and their anatomic course by magnetic resonance coronary angiography.


Middle Aged, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Coronary Angiography, Coronary Vessel Anomalies, diagnosis, radiography, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Angiography, methods, Male

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      Anomalous coronary arteries are a rare but recognized cause of myocardial ischemia and sudden death. Identification currently requires x-ray angiography, which may have difficulty defining the three-dimensional course of the anomalous vessel. Magnetic resonance coronary angiography (MRCA) has been shown to image coronary artery anatomy noninvasively. We hypothesize that MRCA may be useful in the identification of anomalous coronary arteries and their anatomic course. Sixteen patients (9 men, 7 women, age 44 to 81 years) with anomalous aortic origins of the coronary arteries by conventional x-ray angiography underwent MRCA. Multiple images of the major epicardial coronary arteries were obtained by use of a breathhold, fat-suppressed, segmented-k space, gradient-echo technique by investigators blinded to all patient data. Anomalous coronary artery pathology, by x-ray angiography, included right-sided left main coronary artery (n = 3), right-sided left circumflex artery (n = 6), separate left-sided left anterior descending and left circumflex arteries (n = 2), left-sided right coronary artery (n = 4), and an anteriorly displaced right coronary artery (n = 1). MRCA correctly identified the anomalous coronary vessel(s) in 14 of 15 patients. In 1 patient, the anomalous vessel was incorrectly identified, and in 2 patients the course of the anomalous vessel was not clearly seen; one of these was a nondominant, anomalous right coronary artery. MRCA is a useful technique for the noninvasive identification of anomalous coronary arteries and their anatomic course.

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